UK Pro Sam Trickett share his story with us here at RakeTheRake

Sam Trickett is a 24 year old professional poker player from the UK. Earning over $1.7 Million from live poker and even more online he has quickly beome a recognisable name on the circuit. He has seen it all from the poker lows to the poker highs and has recently been involved in the high stakes games in Macau! Good news for us… he survived to share his story with us here at RakeTheRake.

1) Could you begin by telling us a little about who you are, where you are from and your poker background?

My name is Samuel Trickett, I’m 24 years old, from Church Laneham in Nottinghamshire. I started playing poker with friends in the local pub and became addicted to the game and played every chance I got. I started going to the local casinos for the £10 tournament and never looked back.

2) In the past couple of years you seem to be getting more attention from the media and general poker community. Do you think your results are beginning to speak for themselves and people are recognising your skills more?

Yes I had a decent year in 2008 and I showed that I had what it takes to compete at the highest level. I had a really quiet 2009 and the public wondered if I had just had a 2 month heater but I’m glad I have got some more big results and proven I’m not a one-hit wonder. Also playing on the TV and exposing my hole cards has helped a lot, people can see that I play a solid game.

3) Can you tell us about your ascension through the poker ranks? Did you start out online and then move your focus to live events?

I started playing with friends in the local and got familiar with the rules and then moved to play online. I started playing £10 online sit and go’s and if I did well I would take my winnings to the cash tables. I started playing live at the Gala Casino twice a week in the £30 and £50 tournaments and was being extremely successful so I decided to take  a shot in the £100 GBPT festival event and ended up winning it for £4000. I played the £500 main event the next day and min cashed so now I was feeling really confident in regards to tournament poker and decided to take on the circuit events.

4) Is it true that you were initially backed for live events? Can you tell us about that experience and the benefits or disbenefits it offers?

I was never fully backed, I just started off selling a percentage to my friend Julian Thew to help me with the buy ins. I think it’s good to sell shares when you first start so that you dont feel as much financial pressure when you’re playing.

5) What do you think it is that allows you to excel so well in the live setting? You seem to have excellent control over tables and strike fear into opponents, even other well established pro’s… Do you have a specific strategy for playing against tough line ups that allows you to reduce their edge and increase yours?

I have become really confident in my game and when I sit at the table I feel like I already have an idea on how people play just by looking at them. I try to set an image at the table and once I’ve established that I feel I know what my opponents will think of me. I can now make good decisions based on knowing how they perceive me. I never have a strategy before i play, I just sit down and decide as I play.

6) What do you think are the biggest mistakes you see players making both online and live

Playing out of their comfort zone and putting their bankroll at risk.

7) What advice would you offer to other young players looking to make their mark on the game and move up through the stakes?

Its going to be really tough to start off with and it might take a while to get a break you feel your game deserves but just keep focused and look keep working on your game and you will always come through.

8) Did you have any breakout moments in your career where suddenly something clicked and allowed you to see the game in a new light and vault past your opponents skill levels? What can players do to achieve similar a-ha moments? Is it just playing a high volume and gaining experience or is there a lot to be said for working on your game away from the table too?

Nothing suddenly clicked with me. I just gained more experience as I played and never stopped working on my game. If you put in the hard work and play lots of hands big results await.

9) We’ve read recently that you’ve been involved in the high stakes games going on in Macau. Can you tell us about that experience and what’s been going on over there? Do you think Macau / Asia may be the new frontier for poker, as it seems to be in early stages of popularity there?

Yes I am still here now but the games seam to have died down now. I really wanted to play in the $1300/2600 game but I never got a chance.

10) What are the biggest differences you’ve encountered playing either in Europe or USA vs playing in Asia? Is it true that the opponents have less worries about the actual money due to being wealthy outside of poker and therefore are not afraid to make a big bluff or a big call? Also, how do you adjust your strategy to playing these wilder types of players?

Yes the games out here play really big because of the style of the players. People are bluffing a lot and calling almost every raise to see a flop so pots become huge.

11) The poker community took great fun from your facebook update “just ironed out Johnny Chan”. Can you tell us about that… what game you played against him and how it went? After you beat him did you think like Mike McDermott from Rounders and say “I sat with the best and won” hahaha? Does Johnny Chan have any obvious Oreo cookie tell?

Haha, yeah I played a short handed 2000/4000 HKD game with Jeff Lissandro and Johhny Chan and Jeff quit so me and Johnny played heads up. I eventually won all the money and he also quit. I found it really funny actually playing him just because it reminded me so much of Rounders.

12) Did you have any opportunities to sweat the Durrrr / Ivey sessions that were going on there? Was there as much excitement there as there was with people following the news online or was it just another regular day in the Macau poker world?

Yes I have recently become friends with Tom and Phil so I sat and watched the HU match for an hour or so. It was a really good spot for Tom!!!!

13) Can you share with us any particularly memorable hands from your poker career? Is there any big bluff or big call or even big fold that really stands out in your mind?

Yes it’s a recent hand. It was heads up in the world open final vs Yevgeniy Timoshenko. He raised and I flatted with QJ, the flop came JTx and it went check check (when he checks I figure he has some show down value, either a Ten or a lot of Ace highs) the turn came an Ace so the board is JT3A….he now bets and I hated it to be honest because I thought he probably had an ace but its obviously far too weak to just fold to one bet so I called and was planning on re-evaluating the river. The river was a Ten so I checked and he now bet big and I instantly thought he had Ace x as he repped it every street. I also figured he could never have a Ten because i thought he wouldn’t bet a Ten on the turn. I thought he would happily go to showdown with 10 x. Also he must known I have something when I called the turn out of position so I could definitely have a Ten. So now I decided that JQ wasnt winning so I turned it into a bluff to represent the Ten or even KQ and shoved all in. I knew he was a good hand reader so I was certain he was going to fold as I kinda have to have him beat. The only hand he can beat is if I was to turn a hand like JQ/J9 into a bluff which I’m sure he never expected me to do as I have showdown value with those. This hand gave me a lot of confidence to go on and win the title.

14) What do you like to do when not playing poker? What are your other hobbies and interests?

I love sports so I get to the gym a lot and keep fit. Also I love going out and partying with my good mates.

15) Have you experienced any major setbacks or difficulties during your career and if so how did you recover from them?

Yes in 2009 i lost 90% of my roll gambling on the tables and playing the $200/400 game on Full  Tilt. This hurt and I felt really down but I stayed confident and knew I could build a roll again from playing live cash so I just started grinding again.

16) What does the future hold for Sam Trickett? Can we expect to see you continue rising through the stakes… maybe appearing in Bobby’s Room or on High Stakes Poker at some stage?

Yes you will probably see me in the biggest games all over the world now, I will play Bobby’s in the summer and the games at Aussie Millions.

17) If you could offer our readers just one piece of advice related to both poker and life what would it be?

Be confident and give it everything.

18) If players could do just one thing to fix a leak in their game and take themselves to the next level what should it be?

Everyone is different so it’s hard to say. Maybe just try and work out what your leaks are first and then work on fixing them.

19) Can you tell us something about yourself that we probably don’t know

My Dad is a world famous artist.

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